Album Reviews Reviews

Marc O’Reilly – Human Herdings

Marc O Reilly

Singer-songwriter Marc O’Reilly’s sophomore album Human Herdings vividly captures the artist’s deep-seated talent.

The frantic shuddering rhythms of ‘Same Side’ fade into focus building to the electric, dynamic jumps in pace that populate the track. Performed and delivered with a brooding aggression the opener alludes to the broad stylistic range found within Human Herdings that blends a myriad of folk, country and blues genres into one captivating melting pot.

Through the gritty, fuzz-laden stomping nature of songs such as ‘Reach Out’ and ‘You Never’ Marc O’Reilly’s music flows with urgency and intent. Blended with O’Reilly’s husky, growling vocal timbre and a sense of relevancy the recording feels real, up-close and infectious.

However, Human Herdings is an album of great dynamic scope moving from the visceral pounding of the musician’s electric blues leanings to quieter more subtle moments like ‘Lighthouse’ that showcase the sonic depth of the record through large echoing harmonies that force the album sense of perspective, drawing the listener in, and then suddenly twisting expectations with a palpable jump in tempo on the next track.

The grimy, slow howl of ‘The Wayward Shepard’ provides the album’s high water mark. Infused with a flickering electric feel, the song exudes tone. Unrelenting in it’s gritty aesthetic and percussive weight the track slowly builds and takes away through each passage, melding perfectly with Marc O’Reilly’s snarling delivery.

An album of deep sonic peaks and troughs, Human Herdings pushes and pulls throughout with a joyous feel that blends one track to another. With each song feeling part of the album’s broader picture Marc O’Reilly’s songwriting provides heartfelt moments off-set by real, straight forward blues that raise the record’s tempo with stomping precision.

Rating: 9/10

Human Herdings by Marc O’Reilly is out now.

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